> Education, a Human Right

29th of August 2021

No doubt, being literate, and having knowledge and skills in different subjects can improve the life of children, their families, and even whole societies. Researchers in the early 1960s started to indicate how educating the population of a country can impact the prosperity of society. There are millions of children living in poverty around the world, and unfortunately most of them do not have access to an education. Not all countries have the capability to provide a free education to all their citizens, most developing countries struggle to keep afloat, some due to natural disasters, some due to wars, and other factors. Although they may understand the importance of an education, they are not able to meet everybody’s needs, and thus, they rely on foreign aid.

Education enables upward socioeconomic mobility and is a key to escaping poverty. Over the past decade, major progress was made towards increasing access to education and school enrolment rates at all levels, particularly for girls. Nevertheless, about 260 million children were still out of school in 2018.” (UN, 2020)

It costs as little as £1 a day to provide an education to a child.

There are several factors that affect children’s access to an education, some do have a school go to, but unfortunately, not all the children who attend a school in developing countries actually learn anything. Some go through school being illiterate, and that is due to the lack of trained teachers, resources to help them learn, quality checks, and organisation in general. Some schools are in very poor condition, with small overcrowded classrooms, no electricity, no air conditioning or even no roof! Children are having to attend school in these terrible circumstances, subjected to extreme weather conditions… how can learning take place in such environments?

As important as having a safe place to attend to learn is having the necessary school supplies. Sometimes up to three or four students have to share the same book and some teachers do not have the basic tools to prepare lessons. In many rural areas there are not even schools nearby, children need to walk for hours to reach a school. Some of these children also need to carry out other chores and work after school.

Poverty drives many families to keep their children from going to school and rely on them to work and earn money to support them (child labour), and some believe that females and disabled children do not deserve to get an education. In many cultures, girls are given in marriage at a young age, or made to carry out household chores and look after siblings, or even work in farms instead of going to school.

Human rights are the basic privileges that everyone should enjoy, regardless of their backgrounds. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (principles set down originally by the UN in 1948) affirms that education is a fundamental human right, one that acts as a door to other rights. In developing countries, basic skills and knowledge give children the tools they need to climb out of poverty, which is beneficial for communities, societies and nations as a whole.

READ Foundation works hard to identify places where there is a lack of an education infrastructure. Our projects include building schools, improving existing schools that are in a bad condition, imparting classes from a bus (School in a Bus) for refugees that do not have a permanent place of residence, equipping schools with the necessary resources and providing children supplies.